Hadley feels right about decision

Preston Hadley was offered by BYU this past Monday and didn't immediately jump on it. After some prayer and careful consideration, he did wind up committing the day after, but it wasn't an easy decision by any means. TBS caught up with Hadley to get his thoughts on why he committed to BYU.

Preston Hadley was recently informed that head coach Bronco Mendenhall wanted to meet with both him and his family in his office. Given the long drive to Provo from Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, he suspected that Mendenhall wasn't bringing him up for just a social call.

"They didn't tell me why they wanted me to drive down specifically, but I sort of figured they would offer me, I was hoping," said Hadley. "Considering that they wanted my family there, it made sense that they'd offer, but you never know for sure."

He was able to attend BYU's practice on Monday, and was impressed with the intensity of it.

"They really got after it and wow, it was just real intense with how they went about everything. I could tell right away that it was a faster pace and that will probably be the biggest thing I'll have to adjust to at BYU."

With Hadley hailing from Pleasant Grove, Utah, one could easily assume that he was BYU's for the taking as long as the Cougars offered him. He ultimately decided on BYU, but it wasn't as cut-and-dry of a decision process as one might think.

Washington State offered him last week and was a school he strongly considered.

"I visited out there and it was great," he explained. "They took me around campus and they have an [LDS] institute building right on campus. They also have a lot of student wards, so I really liked that and could have easily gone there and done well, I think."

Hadley recently returned from a mission to South New York and liked the idea of doing a little more missionary work at Washington State.

"I think it was a great opportunity for me, but after praying about it and thinking about it, BYU was my answer," he explained. "Growing up in Utah County, I've obviously known about BYU my whole life and I always liked their program."

What Hadley specifically likes about BYU is its focus on family and individual growth outside of the football field.

"That probably wouldn't have been attractive to me before my mission as much as it is now," Hadley said. "Now, it makes a lot of sense and is what I want. When I met with coach Mendenhall, he really stressed the opportunities I'd have to grow in all aspects of my life and I think that's why after praying about it, that it made sense that BYU was where I needed to go."

Hadley is eligible to transfer midyear and will arrive in January and look to contribute at either safety or cornerback.

"They explained to me that they have another defensive back [Joe Sampson] coming in and that they'll see which one of us is best suited to play safety and which one should play cornerback," he related. "They weren't specific about exactly what they'll do with me or with the other guy, but that's the impression I got and I'm fine with that."

Hadley's experience is at cornerback, but does feel that he could do very well playing safety. At 6-feet, 200 pounds and with a 4.43 forty, he certainly has the size and speed to do well at either position.

"I obviously want to help out right away wherever I can," he stated. "I believe there will be some good opportunities right away to play, which is something I like obviously. I just want to help out and do what is best for the team. If it's having to wait a year before playing, then that's okay, but I obviously want to play."

Playing at the Division I level didn't seem at all likely right out of high school, as he failed to even walk on at Snow's program. As reported previously, he was cut from the squad, but showed up again the following year and will finish at Snow as one of the better defensive backs ever to pass through the program.

Given Hadley's determination and hard work, it's no surprise why Mendenhall has become enamored with him.

"I'm just so privileged to have a chance to play at the next level and at a great program like BYU," Hadley said. "I'm very excited for my opportunities to grow as a football player and as a person. At the end BYU felt like the best place for me. I just want to keep on working as hard as I have and contribute to the team and the team's mission."


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